Investment Banking

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How to achieve a soft landing of a deleveraging, while growing economy?

For many years we see in the media experts believing in inflation and even hyper inflation. However, in the same time we face proponents warning against deflation. So far we all noticed.

Only a about a week ago I read an article by Myret Zaki clarifying that unfortunately inflation and deflation co-exists.

Myret Zaki's thesis is that we face inflation on financial markets, and deflation in the real economy (in French):

In my view there is a general major shift in the price matrix and I still try to figure the magnitude and implications thereof. It is a bit irritating as at University we learned about neutrality of money:

This means any extra supply will increase prices equally, 5 % more money, all prices going up 5 %. Pretty plausible at first hand. However, it seems it does not work in reality any more (or never did).

Shariyah Review Bureau hired by Islamic Investment Bank

Saudia's investment banking and asset management firm Anfaal Capital has announced the outsourcing of the Shari'a Supervisory function to Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB). As the new Shari'a Advisor, SRB will oversee and supervise the firms Shari'a Compliance needs from Product structuring to Fatwa issuing, and from stock screening to periodical Shari'a Audits. By having a team of shariah scholars and experts, SRB has the ability to deliver speedy solutions to the business while maintaining the level of Shariah standards. This in turn is expected to contribute to Anfaal's business growth and to meet the needs of the firm's stakeholders.

ADEP initiates Brazil's first Shari'ah compliant livestock finance programme for $25 million

Abu Dhabi Equity Partners (ADEP) has successfully initiated Brazil's first Shari’ah-compliant livestock finance programme of $25 million, to fund fattening of 70,000 cattle heads - the metric tonne equivalent of entire U.A.E.'s annual import of beef. ADEP's Brazilian Shari’ah livestock transaction allows a select group of Brazil's "Top 40" cattle feedlot operators to increase their capacity utilization. The financing was structured as a combination of Wakala and Murabaha agreements enabling investors to buy and take title from Rancher, of liquidly traded cattle, insured and stored physically in separate feedlots inspected and supervised by a global monitoring company. Shari’ah-compliant funding of the growing multi-billion US Dollar Halal food industry is a natural yet untapped market segment.

Dar Al Takaful Joins Hands with Daman Investments

Dar Al Takaful has announced today that it has opened a new managed investment account with Daman Investments.
According to Mr. Saleh Al Hashmi, Managing Director of Dar Al Takaful, Daman Investments is one of the most venerable companies in the MENA Investment Arena and this is the start of a mutually beneficial business relationship. Mr. Shehab Gargash, Managing Director of Daman Investments, said that Dar Al Takaful is a respected Islamic Insurance company and opening this new managed account demonstrates their confidence in his firm's abilities to manage money in the UAE economy. Dar Al Takaful’s account will be managed under a Shari’ah compliant investment mandate.

First Energy inks $34m facility with Dutch firm

Bahraini First Energy Bank (FEB) has signed a 25-million-euro ($34 million) Murabaha facility with the Netherlands-based Kore Coal Finance, a subsidiary of Sapinda Holding. The financing will assist Sapinda in enhancing its investments in an internationally operating resource company which owns coal mining assets in South Africa. This Islamic facility supplements the recently concluded conventional profit participation note of 55m euros raised by Kore Coal Finance with a similar objective. The Murabaha facility has been structured on the basis of an attractive return and will be repaid by October 2016. FEB is acting as the investment and security agent under this Murabaha financing. The bank has an authorised share capital of $2 billion and a paid-up capital of $1 billion.

Boost for GFH Capital

GFH Capital, a fully-owned subsidiary of Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House, yesterday announced the acquisition of a prime central London residential property. Located in Kensington, the property is a Grade II listed building, overlooking the Queens Gate Gardens. GFH Capital expects above average capital appreciation to continue over the medium term. Demand for this type of property is reportedly coming from investors all over the world. However, the firm also sees value and upside potential in other real estate markets such as the US and expects to make additional investments in these markets as well.

Move to oust EIIB directors fails

Resolutions to oust Michael Toxvaerd and Mohammed Al Sarhan from European Islamic Investment Bank's board have failed. The resolutions to remove them from the board were both defeated by 421,334,039 votes to 13,225,000 in a poll at a general meeting. A resolution authorising the company to buyback shares which would be cancelled and not held in treasury was defeated by 381,011,459 votes to 53,847,580. At 9:47am, European Islamic Investment Bank PLC share price was 0p at 3.25p.

Bahrain's GFH names Rayes as permanent CEO - statement

Gulf Finance House , the Bahrain-based investment firm which has restructured a number of debt facilities since the financial crisis, has confirmed Hisham Al Rayes as its chief executive officer. Rayes had been acting CEO since March 2012. He said in July that a leaner balance sheet and a new strategy in which it engaged more in its investments would help drive the business forward in future. Its current debt pile is less than $235 million.

BRIEF-European Islamic Investment Bank removes director from board

Abed Al Zeera has been removed with immediate effect from the board of European Islamic Investment Bank (EIIB).

New shareholder at Gulf Finance House

Bahrain-based investment firm Gulf Finance House said that a family consortium led by chairman of English soccer team Leeds United had bought a 5.71 percent stake in the company, estimated to be worth around 28.9 million dinars ($76.6 million).

Veteran Gulf Banker Plans Investment Bank In Dubai

Emad Mansour, a veteran Gulf Arab banker, is planning to set up an investment bank in Dubai’s tax-free financial zone. Mansour, who has about 20 years of investment banking experience in the region, was most recently the chief executive of Doha-based Qatar First Bank (QFB). The executive will file an application to the regulator of Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), and aims to launch the business in the first half of 2014. His firm will initially focus on private equity transactions and then will move on to offering M&A, equity and debt capital markets advisory services before starting asset management operations. Other former investment bankers from the region have also set up specialist boutiques betting on a continued upturn in activity.

Al Salam invests in Hong Kong plant

Al Salam Bank Bahrain has led investment into a new waste-to-biodiesel plant in Hong Kong. The plant is operated by ASB Biodiesel, a Hong Kong-based company under the chairmanship of HRH. It is capable of processing waste oils into 100,000 tonnes of biodiesel annually. The construction cost of the plant was $165 million. Specifically, ASB Biodiesel collects waste cooking oil and up to 550 tonnes of grease trap waste per day, then processes the waste using multi-feedstock technology from Austrian designer BDI Bioenergy International.

BANK ALKHAIR wins a further ruling against former CEO

The Bahrain Chamber of Dispute Resolution (BCDR) ordered Bank Alkhair's former Chief Executive Officer, Majed Al-Refai, in a verdict to repay a $2 million loan he had taken during his tenure as CEO, and to compensate the bank for all legal fees and costs. The latest ruling against Al Refai follows several other criminal cases involving Al Refai and associates which have all been ruled in favor of the bank. On 29 September 2013, the Supreme Criminal Court of Appeal sentenced Al Refai and his Canadian associate Robert Little each to one year in prison for forging the bank’s Articles of Association. The bank has confirmed numerous legal proceedings, which are ongoing since September 2010, all within the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of Bahrain, and do not affect the ongoing operations of the bank.

CORRECTED-Islamic investment banks in Gulf eye slimmed-down future

The financial crisis has changed the focus for Bahraini investment banks away from bumper projects and the preference now is for slimmer balance sheets, according to GFH founder Essam Janahi, who last week stepped down as chairman. GFH has now reduced its liabilities to $223 million, from over $2 billion at the peak of the crisis, and is rolling out a more conservative strategy. Future investments will shy away from aggressive rates of return and favour smaller deals to better manage risk, Janahi said. Even some Islamic investment banks which rode out the global crisis fairly comfortably have streamlined their operations and say they will not spurn relatively small deals. Qatar's QInvest for example has streamlined operations and discontinued areas such as wealth management and brokerage services.

Islamic banks seek realistic ambitions

The financial crisis changed the focus of Bahraini investment banks away from bumper projects and the preference now is for slimmer balance sheets, according to GFH founder Essam Janahi, who last week stepped down as chairman. GFH has now reduced its liabilities to $223 million, from over $2bn at the peak of the crisis, and is rolling out a more conservative strategy. Future investments will shy away from aggressive rates of return and favour smaller deals to better manage risk, Mr Janahi said. Bahraini firm Arcapita filed for bankruptcy protection in a New York court in March last year, emerging from Chapter 11 last month with a five-year plan to sell legacy assets to pay creditors. Last week, the reorganised firm appointed a new seven-man board of directors that includes a representative from Bahrain's central bank and the chief executive of Bank Alkhair.

GFH Surges to Three-Month High After Board Change: Dubai Mover

Gulf Finance House climbed to the highest in more than three months as the Bahrain-based investment bank replaced its chairman Essam Janahi by by Ahmed Al-Mutawa. The shares surged 11 percent to 57.3 fils in Dubai, the highest since June 20, bringing the gain this year to 37 percent. Gulf Finance House shares listed in Bahrain rose 7.7 percent and those traded in Kuwait advanced 6.5 percent. Some investors may be taking advantage of the price difference in Gulf Finance House shares by buying in Kuwait and selling in Dubai. In Israel, the TA-25 index gained 1.4 percent, led higher by Perrigo Co., a generic drug maker, and Cellcom Israel Ltd. The gauge dropped 1.1 percent on Oct. 3 in a rebalancing for the entry of Opko Health Inc. into the index.

GFH 'on track for long-term growth'

Gulf Finance House (GFH) is now well on its way to long-term profitable growth, Esam Yousif Janahi said after he stepped down as chairman of the Islamic investment bank last week. The exit was a well-planned move and follows the achievement of key objectives of the restructuring exercise, he explained. The bank's liabilities have been brought down substantially from $2.6 billion in 2009. The capital adequacy ratio is now over 20 per cent as against single-digit levels in 2009, at the height of the crisis. Mr Janahi said he continues to remain a major shareholder. On future plans, he said he would focus on managing personal investments and strategic partnerships with partners.

Gulf Finance House appoints new Chairman

Gulf Finance House (GFH) has appointed Dr. Ahmed Al-Mutawa as Chairman following the resignation of former Chairman Essam Yousif Janahi last week. GFH’s Board have also elected Mosabah Al-Mutairy as Vice Chairman. Al-Mutawa is a UAE National with 34 years’ experience of financial and economic experience. He was previously Managing Director of the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development and the Secretary General of Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consulting. Al-Mutairy is an Omani National whose 20-year career spans investment, finance and accounting.

Turkey mandates banks for sukuk issue

Turkey mandated banks for its second sovereign sukuk issue in international markets and will hold a series of investor meetings in the Middle East and Asia. HSBC, QInvest and Standard Chartered have been mandated to explore opportunities for a possible lease certificate issuance in the international capital markets. Turkey has borrowed $4.2 billion from international capital markets so far this year and plans to borrow a total of up to $6.5 billion through a mix of Eurobond, Samurai and sukuk issues by the end of the year.

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